Getting Started: Find Search Terms

Subject Headings

Library of Congress Subject Headings books

These are the official Library of Congress Subject Headings that you can use for many of your searches in our databases. You would find subject headings such as these by browsing through the Library of Congress Subject Headings books or browsing the "Catalog Record" of every title found in our Library Catalog.  

EXAMPLES

Natural Disasters

Earthquakes

Haiti

Chile

San Francisco (Calif.)

Hurricanes

Hurricane Katrina, 2005

New Orleans (La.)

Emergency Management

Preparedness

Disaster Relief

Environmental Conditions

Same Sex Marriage

Marriage Law

Domestic Partner Benefits

Civil Unions

Gay Couples

Lesbian Couples

Same Sex Relationships

Equality

Gays--Legal Status, Laws, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Telecommunication–Law & legislation

Telecommunication Policy--United States.

Internet Government Policy

Broadband Communication Systems

Telephone Companies

Internet

Internet – Law & legislation

Internet Fraud

Internet & teenagers

Internet Users

Computer Networks

Electronic Monitoring in the Workplace

Privacy

Keywords

While not official subject headings, these keywords can be very fruitful for your research. Try to also think of other terms such as these. Keyword searches look at all the information in the book or article record including title, author, abstract, table of contents, etc. It always helps to think of synonyms, as the way one person would describe something is not the same way another would.

Disaster Preparedness

Gay Marriage

Internet Privacy

What "Search Terms" to Use?

Using the correct words to search will help you find relevant information. Different authors and search tools use different words to describe the same concepts, so it is useful to have a list of similar and related terms in your arsenal when you set out to search for relevant information. The process of creating these alternative terms is called brainstorming terms or concept mapping.

EXAMPLE

Earthquakes AND California

What "search terms" to use?

Using the correct words to search will help you find relevant information. Different authors and search tools use different words to describe the same concepts, so it is useful to have a list of similar and related terms in your arsenal when you set out to search for relevant information. The process of creating these alternative terms is called brainstorming terms or concept mapping.

EXAMPLE

Sex Differences AND Communication


If for some reason, you are getting results you do NOT want (say for example you want to find only articles on communication in opposite sex marriages) try a NOT search.  Librarians caution that NOT searches often also weed out articles that may have been relevant for you.  So only perform such searches if you have LOTS of results (say over ten that are in full text format):

EXAMPLE

Marriage NOT Same Sex